Mayors Lobby Governor Edwards/Elected Officials During Northern Exposure Day at State Capitol

MONROE, La. (KNOE) – Local officials are back in Northeast Louisiana after lobbying lawmakers at the State Capitol.

It was all part of the 2022 Northern Exposure Legislative Appreciation Forum in Baton Rouge.

“I just left a meeting with the governor about the Kansas Lane extension,” Mayor of Monroe Friday Ellis told KNOE. “That wouldn’t be possible without strong corporate representation and our Chamber of Commerce helping us lobby for that.”

Ellis said Governor John Bel Edwards assured him that the Kansas Lane project was a top priority.

Ellis says he also presented his plan to bring jobs to Monroe.

“We also talked about the Biomedical Research and Innovation Park,” explains Mayor Ellis. “It has an important local match and important implications when it comes to innovation in Northeast Louisiana.”

The park is designed to attract research, medical and technology companies to the region.

Across the river, West Monroe Mayor Staci Mitchell says she has spoken with local lawmakers about improving the city’s flood resilience.

“Mid-City drainage is my top priority project,” Mayor Mitchell said. “That’s to correct for the drainage issues we’re seeing on Trenton and Cypress, in our older part of town.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Transport and Development, Dr. Shawn Wilson, that he’s working on bringing Amtrak service to Monroe.

“That means economic opportunity,” said Secretary Wilson. “That means recreational opportunities. It means educational opportunities. It’s also a great way to build an economy around train stations and what that will mean for Americans if we find a more affordable way to move.”

Governor Edward’s budget includes $25 million for passenger rail expansion in Louisiana.

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